Tuesday News: Essentially flawed

NCAE AT ODDS WITH GOVERNOR OVER TEACHER VACCINATIONS: “As teachers across the state return to the classroom, it is essential that they receive the vaccine as soon as possible,” NCAE says in an online petition that has received more than 20,000 signatures. Still, the state is sticking with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to vaccinate frontline health workers and people who are age 65 and older before moving to “frontline essential workers” such as teachers. State leaders say they’re prioritizing the limited supply of doses they have on those who are most at risk. “We want to get people 65 and older vaccinated because that’s where we’re seeing 83% of the deaths right now in North Carolina from COVID-19,” Cooper said at a news conference last week.

MASKLESS UNC STUDENTS RUSH FRANKLIN ST. AFTER SPORTSBALL VICTORY OVER DUKE: Faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can teach remotely until Feb. 17 in light of the crowded and largely maskless celebration of the men’s basketball team’s victory over Duke University on Saturday, officials said. Hundreds of students rushed Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill to celebrate the 91-87 victory in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as variants of the virus spread across the country. Duke and Carolina face each other again on March 6 in Chapel Hill. UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin wrote in a message on Sunday that students found to have violated he school’s COVID-19 Community Standards face disciplinary action. The university said it has already received hundreds of student conduct complaints related to the celebrations, news outlets reported. Meanwhile, the school is following through with plans to make the transition to in-person classes, which were scheduled to begin on Monday.

TRUMP'S LAWYERS PUSH TO GET IMPEACHMENT CHARGES DROPPED: Trump's lawyers insist as the Senate trial opens Tuesday that he is not guilty on the sole charge of “incitement of insurrection,” his fiery words just a figure of speech, even as he encouraged a rally crowd to “fight like hell” for his presidency. The Capitol siege on Jan. 6 stunned the world as rioters stormed the building to try to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Five people died. No witnesses are expected to be called, in part because the senators sworn as jurors, forced to flee for safety, will be presented with graphic videos recorded that day. Holed up at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Trump has declined a request to testify. In filings, lawyers for the former president lobbed a wide-ranging attack against the House case, dismissing the trial as “political theater" on the same Senate floor invaded by the mob. Trump's defenders are preparing to challenge both the constitutionality of the trial and any suggestion that he was to blame for the insurrection. They suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he encouraged his supporters to protest at the Capitol, and they argue the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office.

BIDEN TOO BUSY PRESIDENTING TO WATCH IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: President Biden will be too busy this week to catch much of his predecessor’s Senate impeachment trial, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. He’ll be focused on pushing his pandemic relief package, visiting the National Institutes of Health, touching base at the Pentagon and tackling his other duties at a time of crisis, the White House says. On Monday, Biden declined to comment on what is arguably a central question facing the country — how and whether his predecessor should be held to account for his role in encouraging a mob that sought to overturn his election loss. “Let the Senate work that out,” Biden replied when asked by reporters. “He has a full schedule this week,” Psaki said when asked about Biden’s plans as the Senate trial unfolds amid what is likely to be bitter partisan acrimony. “I don’t expect that he’s going to be, you know, posturing or commenting on this through the course of the week.” Besides siphoning off the attention of the public and lawmakers, the trial, which is expected to last until at least the middle of next week, could delay Biden’s agenda and the confirmation of top appointees. Vice President Harris could be summoned to cast tiebreaking votes on procedural issues. More broadly, Biden has spoken for two years of “restoring the soul of America” and moving beyond the Trump era. Yet in making it clear he will distance himself from the Senate trial, Biden is removing himself from the highest-profile effort to grapple with Trump’s legacy.

GEORGIA IS JUGGLING TRUMP PHONE CALL INVESTIGATION BETWEEN AGENCIES: The office of Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, on Monday started an investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the state’s election results, including a phone call he made to Mr. Raffensperger in which Mr. Trump pressured him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss. Such inquiries are “fact-finding and administrative in nature,” the secretary’s office said, and are a routine step when complaints are received about electoral matters. Findings are typically brought before the Republican-controlled state board of elections, which decides whether to refer them for prosecution to the state attorney general or another agency. The move comes as Fani Willis, the Democratic district attorney of Fulton County, which encompasses much of Atlanta, is weighing whether to begin a criminal inquiry of her own. A spokesman for Ms. Willis declined to comment on Monday. The January call was one of several attempts Mr. Trump made to try to persuade top Republican officials in the state to uncover instances of voting fraud that might change the outcome, despite the insistence of voting officials that there was no widespread fraud to be found. He also called Gov. Brian Kemp in early December and pressured him to call a special legislative session to overturn his election loss. Later that month, Mr. Trump called a state investigator and pressed the official to “find the fraud,” according to those with knowledge of the call. Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, said in a statement: “There was nothing improper or untoward about a scheduled call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and lawyers on both sides. If Mr. Raffensperger didn’t want to receive calls about the election, he shouldn’t have run for secretary of state.”



Yeah, that's me in the picture...

Not the COVID vaccine, that's a Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis) I had to get before my grandson was born. I was like, "Wait, let me get my scared child face on," and she was trying not to laugh when she poked me...